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Swimming Pool Landscaping

Plant Choices for Swimming Pools

Plantings soften the lines of swimming pool equipment, provide privacy, and help the pool area blend in with the rest of your home’s landscape. For a low-maintenance swimming pool landscaping design, broad-leafed evergreens, ornamental grasses, and ground covers are the best choices. One or more trees on the south side of the pool can provide shade on hot days without blocking the sun on cooler days. When you’re looking for swimming pool plants, avoid deciduous trees, plants that attract bees, bear fruit, have thorns or prickles, or develop invasive root systems that could damage the pool.

Fences for Safety and Privacy

If you’re going to have small children or curious pets around, a fence is vital for safety reasons. Being able to lock up the entire pool area gives you peace of mind and could save lives. The right fence design can also provide privacy. A full privacy fence is usually six feet or higher, with boards arranged in an overlapping, shadow box, or tongue-and-groove pattern. If you prefer semi-privacy that lets air and light pass through, consider a lattice or basket-weave fence.

Windbreaks and Baffles

Even a light breeze can steal warmth from a pool area. Fortunately, you can redirect chilly air currents by building a windbreak or baffle. First, start by identifying the wind currents in your yard and then use this information to decide where you’ll need to place the fence/baffle for greatest efficiency. You don’t have to use a solid wall or fence for this; dense shrubbery can also provide good protection.

Swimming Pool Lighting

Outdoor lighting is another safety feature every swimming pool landscaping design needs. At a minimum, lights should be added to the pool’s deep end, on the steps, and around the perimeter. While incandescent and halogen quartz pool lights of both 120-volt (at 300 or 500 watts) and 12-volt (at 100 or 200 watts) are still on the market, fiber optics last longer and provide better lighting.

Patios and Decks

The right paving and decking assures a safe, slip-resistant surface that’s easy on bare feet. Pavers may cost more than bricks and concrete, but they’re a better option for a swimming pool landscaping design. Not only do they allow for different patterns and colors, but they also move, rather than crack, with the ground’s movements, so they’ll last longer. Ordinary brick can work, but make sure the bricks you choose have somewhat rough surfaces, so they provide some traction. In any case, avoid using wood. When exposed to water, wood can splinter and warp over time and it’s slippery for bare feet.